Researchers from Stanford University found that human aging is a continuous process. According to a study published in the journal Nature Medicine, physical aging of an organism includes three different turning point, the first of which starts at the age of about 34 years. In the course of work, scientists analyzed the composition of blood plasma — cell-free, liquid fraction of blood of more than 4,200 people aged 18 to 95 years and came to the conclusion that the level of 373 proteins in the blood can provide clues about health and to show the changes that occur with age.
Proteins of blood plasma is an indicator of the condition of the body
Professor of neurology at Stanford University, Tony Wyss-Koray reported in the press release of the study that scientists have long known that the measurement of certain proteins in the blood can provide information about the state of human health — for example, the amount of lipoprotein is an indicator of the health of the cardiovascular system. However, earlier researchers did not know was that approximately one third of all proteins in the blood plasma significantly change with age. Now, thanks to the obtained results, scientists can determine the age to within three years.
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In the study, experts paid close attention to changes in the level of protein in the blood. It turned out that each of us has three driving phases of aging that occur at different ages. Researchers do not exclude that the change in the level of proteins not only characterizes, but also causes the phenomenon of aging. The fact that proteins are the main workers constituting cells of body. When their relative levels are undergoing significant changes, which means that the body is changing. Looking at thousands of proteins in blood plasma, the researchers were able to get an idea of what changes occur throughout the body.
Men and women age differently
Thus, the results showed that physiological aging does not occur gradually and smoothly and sharply and gradually. These three stages have on average at the age of 34, 60 and 78 years. This is because instead of having to constantly increase, decrease or remain unchanged throughout life, the levels of many proteins some time remain constant, then at some point there are sudden shifts up or down. These shifts have a tendency to unite into three distinct moment of human life: youth, late middle age and old age. Moreover, the researchers found that changes in a significant number of proteins differed depending on the sex. Thus, scientists believe that men and women do age differently.
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Scientists believe that in the future the analysis of the level of protein in the blood may identify cases of premature aging, helping doctors to intervene in the potential development of such health problems as dementia. In addition, the obtained results can help experts to develop new ways of slowing down aging. Anyway, any clinical application of this method will benefit and help to find a cure for Alzheimer’s disease and cardiovascular diseases.